Kansas, USA
University of Kansas
Dean of the School of Music

The University of Kansas seeks an inclusive, collaborative, and creative leader to serve as its next dean of the School of Music. The https://www.ku.edu/ (KU) is the state’s flagship university, an R-1 institution, and a member of the Association of American Universities, serving more than 28,000 students. KU’s research residential campus is located on the beautiful and historic Mt. Oread in Lawrence, Kansas, and offers programs at eight other locations across the state, as well as online through Jayhawk Global.

One of the finest in the U.S. and offering comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs, The University of Kansas https://music.ku.edu/ seeks to become a model site of diverse, creative, and innovative approaches to the study and performance of music in the 21st century. The School brings together outstanding students and dedicated faculty in music composition, education, history, performance, therapy, and theory. This breadth ensures a rich education and encourages interdisciplinary collaborations. Its 277 undergraduate and 161 graduate students and 49 faculty perform on the world’s biggest stages, learn from leading experts in their fields, and respond to today’s issues with innovative research, creative performance, and essential service to society. The School’s presence on the KU campus is a significant recruitment draw for top students—for music majors who pursue careers and educational paths in the musical arts and for non-music majors who exude a passionate interest in the discipline.

The new dean has the opportunity to work collaboratively across KU to lead and implement innovative approaches to enhance scholarly research and creative activity that reinforce the university’s standing as one of America’s leading research institutions and to the provide highly engaging educational experiences for students. Reporting to Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor https://provost.ku.edu/people/barbara-bichelmeyer, Ph.D., the dean will ensure the School of Music is aligned with KU’s strategic plan, https://jayhawksrising.ku.edu/, and its three mission-based institutional priorities: Student Success, Healthy & Vibrant Communities, and Research & Discovery.

The dean is responsible for the School’s strategic oversight, academics, and educational experiences; ongoing and active fundraising and philanthropic efforts; promoting research, discovery and creative activities; and fostering community engagement and service activities. The dean will also be a skilled leader of resources ensuring talent development of faculty, staff and student employees and fiscal stewardship of administrative structures and the School’s endowment. Additionally, the dean will steward current partnerships and identify future partnerships locally and globally to continue the School's long-standing tradition of bringing an international audience to its celebrated program.

The dean will engage with representatives of KU’s shared governance bodies and also work with fellow deans, associate deans, vice provosts, and the vice chancellor for research to ensure strong support for student engagement, faculty and staff development, community outreach and research, discovery and creative activity are prioritized across all disciplines within the School. The dean will oversee the clear goals and lead implementation of the strategic plan that will provide direction and support the ambitions of the School.

The School of Music celebrates its diverse community of students, faculty, and staff of artists, scholars, composers, teachers, and therapists. The dean will maintain the School's focus on internationalization by connecting students and faculty with the global musical community through partnerships and collaboration. The dean will identify funding through scholarships, endowment support, and other philanthropic resources to ensure the talented faculty and students are a part of these identified communities. The dean must continue to prioritize future capital, emerging technology, and facilities' maintenance needs.


The ideal candidate will be an established professional within the field who has broad connections and employs emotional intelligence that advances the mission of the School of Music and the university. Additionally, the successful candidate will demonstrate their capacity for ongoing and active fundraising, stewarding of donors, building relationships with external partners and engaging in activities that contribute to diversifying revenue streams on behalf of the School.

It is strongly preferred that the dean have exceptional competencies in communication, innovation, and collaboration.

Consideration will be given to candidates meeting the following required qualifications:

• A demonstrated record of distinguished academic accomplishment and leadership;

• Evidence of success in building a thriving, diverse community within the workplace with faculty, staff, students, professional performers, and/or members of the community;

• An earned doctorate, or other appropriate terminal degree; and

• Eligibility for appointment as a full professor with tenure within the School.

This is a rare opportunity for a gifted leader to guide and shape a School with a high level of excellence and impact on music globally.


All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, available at https://www.wittkieffer.com/position/24285-dean-school-of-music/. References will not be collected at this time.

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Tuesday, October 3rd.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s https://apptrkr.com/4330073.


Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Melissa Fincher and Bree Liddell


The https://www.ku.edu/ (KU) is the state’s flagship university, an R-1 institution, and a member of the Association of American Universities, serving more than 28,000 students. KU’s research residential campus is located on the beautiful and historic Mt. Oread in Lawrence, Kansas, and offers programs at eight other locations across the state, as well as online through Jayhawk Global.

The University of Kansas https://policy.ku.edu/IOA/nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, https://tinyurl.com/3x8dxaj8, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, KS, medical center campuses).